Preparing Your Business in the Event of a Fire or Flood

Maintaining a business requires a lot of organization, work, responsibility and security. Your financial welfare, the financial welfare of all of your employees as well as the future of your business depends on the safety of your records, inventory, equipment and more. However, a sudden fire or flood can wipe all of those essentials out in mere moments. As a business owner, you will need to understand how to protect your business in the event of a fire or flood.

The Importance of Insurance

Insurance is your safety net in the event that you lose any important or expensive equipment or suffer any building damage during a fire or flood. Look over your insurance policy carefully before signing any contract. What does it cover? What does it not cover? Do you live in an area with region-specific risks such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis or more? How flexible is the insurance plan? All of these questions and more should be in your mind while purchasing insurance for your company. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your insurance agent or get anything in writing. It’s important to get as much valid information as possible, and getting everything in writing can protect you legally in the event of a future insurance issue.

Backup Everything

Some things within your business simply can’t be replaced by insurance money. These items include important documents, records, projects, software and more. To protect these valuable items, create backups for everything. Everything that is stored digitally should be regularly backed up off-site. This is to prevent the loss of both your important documents and your backups in the event of a fire or flood. For your purely physical documents, scan them into the computer and keep digital backups. You can also create physical copies and keep them off-site.

Reduce the Amount of Risk

One of the best ways to prevent fires or floods is to reduce your risk of experiencing them. Fires can be prevented by practicing good fire safety techniques as well as teaching your employees of those same techniques. Install various fire safety measures such as fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, smoke detectors and more. If you business frequently deals with highly flammable materials or machines, ensure that you and your employees know how to safely handle these materials before working with them.

It’s difficult to prevent floods since they’re usually due to a force of nature. However, you can lessen your chances of experiencing one by creating your business in an area with little risk of flooding, avoiding locations in valleys, downgrades or dips to ensure that water runs away from your building and not into it, and making sure your building is as watertight as possible.

After the Damage is Done

No matter how careful you are or how much you plan, there’s still the chance that a fire or flood may occur in your business. You need to take a step back before that happens to ensure that everything will be protected or can be replaced in the event of an emergency. Take inventory of everything in your business. Is everything covered by insurance? If it’s not, do you have a backup prepared for it? Do you have a reliable escape plan for your employees in the event of an emergency? Is your building specifically covered for fire and flood damage? Do you have automatic backups set up to ensure that your backups are always updated? Do you have any financial protection plans for your employees if they lose income due to a fire or flood?

Create a checklist for all of these concerns and go over it. Keep the checklist in the event of an emergency to give yourself a clear plan of recovery. It’s also a good idea to have reliable and professional repairmen and computer specialists on standby to help get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

Fires and floods can be devastating to any business, but you can protect yourself as long as you lower your level of risk and prepare your business in the event of an emergency. Remember, when it comes to your business you can never have too much protection.

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